Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 22
Edtech Industry
Network Summit
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Data are in: Mind Mapping Raises Writing Scores

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYOD

Wednesday, June 26, 11:30 am–12:30 pm
Location: 115A

Jesse Berg  
Middle-schoolers taught to mind map improved text-dependent analysis scores with limited instruction and practice. Why? Mind mapping matches how people naturally learn. High-stakes standardized tests call for visual learning strategies but they're rarely taught in ways that students use. See our findings. Experience the methods.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Professional developers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Download Mind Mup 2.0
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Creativity and productivity tools
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Language arts, Special education
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Teaching, Learning and Assessments
  • Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using a variety of research-based, learner-centered instructional strategies and assessment tools to address the diverse needs and interests of all students.
For Students:
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will gain explicit strategies to differentiate instruction that improve constructed response writing, reading comprehension and critical thinking using FREE web tools for visual learning. Methods and results are from Action Research of the Visual Leap® Intervention conducted in affluent suburban NJ and underserved urban Philadelphia schools.

In this session participants will:
• Learn why mind maps and webs are effective instructional strategies
• Do the Grand Slam of Visual Thinking
• Practice using these instructional strategies across the curriculum
• Gain tools to help students use these methods independently
• Learn why mind maps and webs are effective instructional strategies
• Learn how to teach these skills to students
• Gain experience using tools for teaching these skills to students

Key Points for Discussion
• Webbing is specifically identified in Keystone and PSSA Exams as a recommended pre-writing strategy, but it is rarely used, and few teachers know how to teach it.
• Visual learners, students with special needs and large portions of all learners benefit from text rendering and graphic organizers for reading comprehension and organizing ideas.
• Students are issued scrap paper for Keystone and PSSA exams that they rarely use effectively. This workshop offers effective ways for students to use this key resource to improve reading comprehension and organize their writing.


1. Rationales and Research for Mind Mapping and Visual Learning (5 min)
2. Data from Action Research of Visual Leap methods (10 min)
3. Hands on Practice of “Grand Slam of Visual Learning (30 min)
 A. Strategies
  i. Webstorm (Mindomo)
  ii. Summary Man (Mind Mup 2.0)
  iii. Reverse Mind Map (Popplet)
  iv. Constructed Response Magic (Mindomo)
4. Question and Answers (5 min)

Supporting research

• Berg, Jesse. Visual Leap: A Step-by-Step Guide to Visual Learning for Teachers and Students. Boston: Lamprey and Lee, 2015.
• Rita Carter, Mapping the Mind. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2010.
• Silverman, Linda Kreger. Upside-Down Brilliance. Denver: DeLeon Publishing, 2002.
• Richard Selznick, The Shut-Down Learner (Boulder: Sentient Publications, 2009.

More [+]


Jesse Berg, School District of Philadelphia

Jesse Berg, MSIT, M.Ed. began his career as a Spanish teacher where he experienced the power of technology to help students achieve. His mission is to make teaching and learning easier through visual thinking strategies that make complex tasks like reading, writing, and critical thinking easier. Berg left the classroom in 2007 to consult with schools and write his book, Visual Leap: A Step-by-Step Guide to Visual Learning for Teachers and Students (Lamprey and Lee, 2015.) Currently is a Technology Integration Specialist with the School District of Philadelphia bringing these methods to students and teachers every day.

People also viewed

Create Virtual Reality in Minutes Without Breaking the Bank
Hop in the DeLorean...Let’s Build a Future-Inspired Classroom
To Level or Not to Level: Closing Reading Gaps With Grade-Level Text